The inevitable: When Motorola preemptively launched their declaration judgment action against Apple earlier this month, we knew that Apple was likely to launch multiple patent infringement lawsuits against Motorola once their licensing negotiations failed to produce an agreement. Late yesterday, Apple filed a pair of patent infringement lawsuits against Motorola Inc. and Motorola Mobility Inc. in the Wisconsin Western District Court. The combined lawsuits cover six patents – none of which were covered by Motorola Mobility Inc.'s filed lawsuits. The main focus of these lawsuits centers in on the most important technology of all pertaining to the next generation smartphones: Multi-Touch. In 2009, Apple's COO Tim Cook warned the competition during a financial conference, as follows: "we like competition as long as they don't rip off our IP. And if they do, we will go after anyone who does." Obviously Apple now thinks that Motorola has crossed that line.
The Accused Products
According to court documents, Apple states that the Accused Products are mobile devices, such as smartphones, and associated software, including operating systems, user interfaces, and other application software designed for use on, and loaded onto, such devices.
Upon information and belief, these products are manufactured, marketed and/or sold by Motorola in the United States. At least the following mobile devices infringe one or more claims of one or more of the Asserted Patents: Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq, Cliq XT, BackFlip, Devour A555, Devour i1, and Charm.1
An Overview of All the Patents listed in the Two Lawsuits
The following information pertains to six granted patents listed in Apple's two distinct lawsuits.
In the First Case (0661)
One: Apple, Inc patent titled: Ellipse Fitting for Multi-Touch Surfaces: Patent Abstract: Apparatus and methods are disclosed for simultaneously tracking multiple finger and palm contacts as hands approach, touch, and slide across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface. Identification and classification of intuitive hand configurations and motions enables unprecedented integration of typing, resting, pointing, scrolling, 3D manipulation, and handwriting into a versatile, ergonomic computer input device.
Two: Apple, Inc patent titled: Multipoint Touchscreen: Patent Abstract: A touch panel having a transparent capacitive sensing medium configured to detect multiple touches or near touches that occur at the same time and at distinct locations in the plane of the touch panel and to produce distinct signals representative of the location of the touches on the plane of the touch panel for each of the multiple touches is disclosed.
Three: Taligent, Inc patent titled: Object-Oriented System Locator System: Patent Abstract: A method and system for adding system components (documents, tools, fonts, libraries, etc.) to a computer system without running an installation program. A location framework is employed to locate system components whose properties match those specified in search criteria. The framework receives notification from the system when system components whose properties match the search criteria are added to or removed from the system.
In the Second Case (0662)
Four: Apple, Inc, patent titled: Touch Screen Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Determining Commands by Applying Heuristics: Apple's invention generally relates to electronic devices with touch screen displays, and more particularly, to electronic devices that apply heuristics to detected user gestures on a touch screen display to determine commands.
Five: Apple Computer, Inc. patent titled: Method and Apparatus for Displaying and Accessing Control and Status Information in a Computer System: Apple's invention generally relates to the field of computer systems; particularly, the present invention relates to displaying a status and control function bar or window to enable access of user selected indicia to a computer system user.
Six: Apple Computer, Inc. patent titled: Support for Custom User-Interaction Elements in a Graphical, Event-Driven Computer System: Apple's invention relates to graphical, event-driven computer systems, more particularly to custom interactive user-interaction elements in a computer system having a window-based graphical user interface.
Apple's Prayer for Relief
Apple is seeking the following from the court:
A judgment that Motorola has directly infringed, induced infringement, and/or contributed to the infringement of one or more claims of each of the '828, '607, '430, '949, '002, and '315 patents;
A judgment permanently enjoining Motorola and its officers, directors, agents, servants, employees, affiliates, attorneys, and all others acting in privity or in concert with them, and their parents, subsidiaries, divisions, successors and assigns, from further acts of infringement, contributory infringement, or inducement of infringement of the Asserted Patents;
A judgment awarding Apple all damages adequate to compensate for Motorola's infringement, and in no event less than a reasonable royalty for Motorola's acts of infringement, including all pre-judgment and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate permitted by law;
A judgment that Motorola's various acts of infringement have been willful and deliberate, and therefore, that Apple is entitled to up to treble damages as provided by 35 U.S.C. § 284;
A judgment that Motorola's willful infringement renders this an exceptional case entitling Apple to an award of its attorneys' fees and costs incurred in prosecuting this action, together with interest, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285; and such other relief as the Court may deem just and equitable.
The Civil Cover Sheet
The noted Civil Cover Sheet above pertains to one of two cases as does the Summons noted below.
GODFREY & KAHN, S.C. filed the complaint with the court on behalf of Apple, Inc. on October 29, 2010. WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES LLP is acting counsel. Apple seeks a trial by jury. The presiding Judge in this case is Stephen L. Crocker. See our Legal Archives for related cases.
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Update Oct. 31, 2010: For the sake of little fun, here's a graph illustrating a basic overview or perhaps better yet, a snapshot in time, of who's suing who in the mobile space. Of course you'd have to add a new arrow from Apple to Motorola in order to complete the graph as of this date. The graphic was a part of an October 5, 2010 report from The Gaurdian.
Update - Nov 23, 2010: Apple patent case against Motorola will be reviewed by the US International Trade Commission.
Mac and Other Community Sites Covering our Original Report
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